Roadrunner Matty Blair to speed York City back to goal standard

York City speedster Matty Blair

York City speedster Matty Blair

Published in News York Press: Photograph of the Author by , Sports reporter

YORK City boss Gary Mills believes a switch to midfield can get Matty Blair back on the goal trail.

Blair has only netted once in his last 19 outings and has managed just five for the season after finishing last term as the Minstermen’s 20-goal top scorer.

But the former Kidderminster winger forced the only two saves from home goalkeeper Luke McCormick during Saturday’s 0-0 draw at Oxford United and Mills is backing him to be more potent after moving inside from the flanks.

Blair is likely to fill the side’s attacking midfield role again for tonight’s League Two clash at promotion-chasing Rotherham with Mills adding: “With Scott Kerr and John McGrath in there, I just felt we needed somebody energetic like Blairy to get on and support Jason Walker at Oxford.

“He did that well and made some decent runs from midfield. He had that headed chance and you know he will work well from there and get in the box.

“He wasn’t getting involved enough in the wide position and we know he can hurt teams from midfield because he’s done it before and scored a couple of goals from there earlier in the season.

“I think he can get more from there when you look at his attributes.

“He’s got more energy than most people in the game and it’s good to have that in the middle of the park because he can get alongside and beyond the strikers, as well as getting back to defend.

“Nobody will catch him when he makes those runs and he made a few that did not get picked out on Saturday.

“He’s just got to keep making them because we will pick him out.

“I’ve always liked him there and, while he scored a lot of goals from wide areas last season, that hasn’t materialised this season.”

Blair scored the only goal in City’s Johnstone’s Paint Trophy triumph at Rotherham earlier in the season and Mills reckons this evening’s match could follow a similar script to that encounter, adding: “It was a tough game and hard work that night – a bit like Saturday’s game.

“It was 0-0 for a long time but we kept our concentration and took that one chance. Unfortunately, we had two or three that we did not take at Oxford but nothing changes for the next game.

“We’ve got to maintain our hard work and discipline and take any opportunities that come our way.”

Teenage defender Jack O’Connell will, meanwhile, be available to face his former Rotherham team-mates after extending his loan deal with City to the end of the season.

The on-loan Blackburn centre-back played five games for the New York Stadium outfit earlier in the season and Mills said: “Whatever happened when he went there is not important to me.

“I feel we are seeing the best of Jack week in, week out and good players are consistent, which he has been for us so hopefully that will be maintained. He’s come in and done a great job for us.

“He’s got better each game and I’ve been delighted with him.

“It’s nice to still have him with three defenders in David McGurk, Chris Doig and Jon Challinor still unavailable.”

Comments (16)

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12:56pm Tue 26 Feb 13

redbluelion says...

id like to see rankine back in the starting line up tonight,walker should be dropped hes had more than his fair share of games,lets see what rankine can do.
id like to see rankine back in the starting line up tonight,walker should be dropped hes had more than his fair share of games,lets see what rankine can do. redbluelion
  • Score: 0

1:08pm Tue 26 Feb 13

hangman says...

think we all know what rankine can do-what we dont know is what he can do playing alongside Walker,not that its ever going to happen.
think we all know what rankine can do-what we dont know is what he can do playing alongside Walker,not that its ever going to happen. hangman
  • Score: 0

1:17pm Tue 26 Feb 13

tomwillo1 says...

To be fair to walker he played well on saturday against 2 very big centre backs! I'd stick with him for Rotherham and bring ranks on later on when they are tiring! Can't wait for tonight!!
To be fair to walker he played well on saturday against 2 very big centre backs! I'd stick with him for Rotherham and bring ranks on later on when they are tiring! Can't wait for tonight!! tomwillo1
  • Score: 0

1:39pm Tue 26 Feb 13

van the man says...

York have not scored a goal for nearly a month now, Rotherham are a much better side than Oxford, so lets just hope we keep a clean sheet, if we dont i can"t see a way back.
York have not scored a goal for nearly a month now, Rotherham are a much better side than Oxford, so lets just hope we keep a clean sheet, if we dont i can"t see a way back. van the man
  • Score: 0

1:45pm Tue 26 Feb 13

redbluelion says...

Think its time for matty blairs dog to go missing again.someone should hold it for goal ransom.and he only gets it back when he scores another 10 goals.
Think its time for matty blairs dog to go missing again.someone should hold it for goal ransom.and he only gets it back when he scores another 10 goals. redbluelion
  • Score: 0

1:52pm Tue 26 Feb 13

OLD - HEAD says...

I was very surprised on Saturday when Rankine was not in the starting eleven. But the first thing I noticed about Rankine when he arrived back on loan, was that he looked unfit and overweight. I dont know if this has anything to do with him being on the bench. But to be fair to Michael he didnt do a bad job against Gillingham and Barnet. At least he adds a bit of power up front. I will be at Rotherham tonight and I am expecting a much tougher game than Saturdays match at Oxford. Not confident, just hoping that we can come away with at least one point.
I was very surprised on Saturday when Rankine was not in the starting eleven. But the first thing I noticed about Rankine when he arrived back on loan, was that he looked unfit and overweight. I dont know if this has anything to do with him being on the bench. But to be fair to Michael he didnt do a bad job against Gillingham and Barnet. At least he adds a bit of power up front. I will be at Rotherham tonight and I am expecting a much tougher game than Saturdays match at Oxford. Not confident, just hoping that we can come away with at least one point. OLD - HEAD
  • Score: 0

1:53pm Tue 26 Feb 13

Gladys Cheesepick says...

Rotherham 1-2 York City
(Blair 67, 82) Att: 7,367
Rotherham 1-2 York City (Blair 67, 82) Att: 7,367 Gladys Cheesepick
  • Score: 0

3:05pm Tue 26 Feb 13

OLD - HEAD says...

Gladys Cheesepick wrote:
Rotherham 1-2 York City (Blair 67, 82) Att: 7,367
Hope you are right Gladys, I would be willing to go for the last 23 minutes just to see that.
[quote][p][bold]Gladys Cheesepick[/bold] wrote: Rotherham 1-2 York City (Blair 67, 82) Att: 7,367[/p][/quote]Hope you are right Gladys, I would be willing to go for the last 23 minutes just to see that. OLD - HEAD
  • Score: 0

3:08pm Tue 26 Feb 13

YoRkIe59 says...

Rankine came as a player short of match practice hows he going to get that sharpness coming on in the 90th minute.
Rankine came as a player short of match practice hows he going to get that sharpness coming on in the 90th minute. YoRkIe59
  • Score: 0

3:28pm Tue 26 Feb 13

ian923 says...

I too would like to see Ranks start and show some bustle and muscle tonight.Please don't leave him on the bench till it's too late again.Give him a try with Walker as we really have nothing to lose and an early goal would do wonders for us. Also time Matty got a goal-let's hope it's tonight! Come on City.
I too would like to see Ranks start and show some bustle and muscle tonight.Please don't leave him on the bench till it's too late again.Give him a try with Walker as we really have nothing to lose and an early goal would do wonders for us. Also time Matty got a goal-let's hope it's tonight! Come on City. ian923
  • Score: 0

3:31pm Tue 26 Feb 13

The_Baron89 says...

YoRkIe59 wrote:
Rankine came as a player short of match practice hows he going to get that sharpness coming on in the 90th minute.
By havinhg played for the majority of the previous 2 matches, perhaps? Or maybe Mills should have played him for the full 90 minutes in every match so far and have him knackered for the game against one of the most physical teams in the league.
[quote][p][bold]YoRkIe59[/bold] wrote: Rankine came as a player short of match practice hows he going to get that sharpness coming on in the 90th minute.[/p][/quote]By havinhg played for the majority of the previous 2 matches, perhaps? Or maybe Mills should have played him for the full 90 minutes in every match so far and have him knackered for the game against one of the most physical teams in the league. The_Baron89
  • Score: 0

3:53pm Tue 26 Feb 13

PhilR@Strike says...

As started above, if we go behind we won't recover from it, with our current goal form. Need to start with our strongest team from the start. Not bring Ranks on when too late.
As started above, if we go behind we won't recover from it, with our current goal form. Need to start with our strongest team from the start. Not bring Ranks on when too late. PhilR@Strike
  • Score: 0

4:12pm Tue 26 Feb 13

yorkiemike says...

Agree with the comments regarding Rankine.He must start for me and be given licence to put himself around.If he does as well as he did against Gillingham I`ll be happy, even if he has to come off in the second half.
He seems keen to do well here so give him a chance GM from the KO.
Hate to say it but I`ll settle for a point.In all honesty I can`t see us winning this one.Hope they prove me wrong!
Agree with the comments regarding Rankine.He must start for me and be given licence to put himself around.If he does as well as he did against Gillingham I`ll be happy, even if he has to come off in the second half. He seems keen to do well here so give him a chance GM from the KO. Hate to say it but I`ll settle for a point.In all honesty I can`t see us winning this one.Hope they prove me wrong! yorkiemike
  • Score: 0

9:45pm Tue 26 Feb 13

Prob says...

Drawing at the 92nd minute feels like a loss, even if it's not.

The biggest worry now is we FOUR points away from relegation.
Drawing at the 92nd minute feels like a loss, even if it's not. The biggest worry now is we FOUR points away from relegation. Prob
  • Score: 0

9:54pm Tue 26 Feb 13

twang says...

For gods sake 93rd minute, 4 points from the drop.
GM should of gone 4 games ago cant survive on draws.
Why was rankin on in the 91st minute again ????????????????????
????????????????????
????????????????????
??? GM answer the question, another astute use of personnel.

Watch the door dosentcatch yor heels on the way out
For gods sake 93rd minute, 4 points from the drop. GM should of gone 4 games ago cant survive on draws. Why was rankin on in the 91st minute again ???????????????????? ???????????????????? ???????????????????? ??? GM answer the question, another astute use of personnel. Watch the door dosentcatch yor heels on the way out twang
  • Score: 0

9:59pm Tue 26 Feb 13

twang says...

The song "One Pound Fish" is being
re-recorded tomorrow now called

"One Point Mills"

Anybody fancy a corus on Saturday
The song "One Pound Fish" is being re-recorded tomorrow now called "One Point Mills" Anybody fancy a corus on Saturday twang
  • Score: 0

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